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26 Mar, 2018 13:16

‘Against common sense and intl law’: Russia to retaliate over diplomats’ expulsion by UK allies

‘Against common sense and intl law’: Russia to retaliate over diplomats’ expulsion by UK allies

Moscow won’t leave the provocative acts against Russian diplomats unanswered, the Foreign Ministry said, adding that several countries blindly copied the UK’s “hypocritical” stance on the Skripal case in the absence of evidence.

The decision of a number of NATO and other European countries to expel Russian diplomats over the poisoning of the former double-agent Sergei Skripal amounts to a “provocative act” and only harms international relations and the investigation of the incident, the Ministry said in a statement.

The countries which expelled Russian diplomats have only played into the hands of London, which “de-facto took a prejudiced, biased and hypocritical stance, producing indiscriminate accusations against the Russian Federation in the absence of explanations of what happened and refusing to engage in substantive cooperation,” the statement reads.

The “solidarity” expressed by the Western countries harmed the investigation of the Skripal incident and contradicted international law, the Ministry said. Russia is interested in finding the truth about the poisoning of Russian citizens on British soil, it stressed.

“The Russian side, despite our repeated requests to London, has no information over the case. There’s no objective and exhaustive data on it at the disposal of the Britain’s allies, who blindly follow the principles of the Euro-Atlantic unity harming common sense, principles of civilized dialogue between states and international law. Naturally, such a hostile move on part of this group of countries won’t go unanswered,” the Ministry said.

Moscow will expel at least 60 US diplomats in response to Washington’s move which it linked to double agent Skripal’s poisoning, Senator Vladimir Dzhabarov said. He called the move to expel 12 of the Russian UN staff illegal.

“It is clear that the measures will be tit-for-tat, they will affect the same number of employees, since the numbers of our diplomatic missions are equal,” Dzhabarov said. He also condemned the additional expulsion of 12 Russian UN staff as “contradicting international law.”

“The UN is an international organization, which does not fall under American jurisdiction,” the senator pointed out.

President Vladimir Putin will be the one to make a final decision on retaliatory measures against the US and European countries that expelling Russian diplomats. For now, the Russian Foreign Ministry is studying the situation and drafting a list of possible actions, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. Moscow has nothing to do with the Skripal case, he added.

READ MORE: 14 EU states announce mass co-ordinated expulsion of Russian diplomats over Skripal case

Washington’s actions will only serve to ruin the remaining US-Russian ties, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said. The US understands nothing but strengh, the diplomat stated while commenting on the possible response measures.

Moscow expected such a move on part of the US, but still hoped that Washington would use common sense to help stop the UK’s hysteria, Antonov added.

On Monday, the US expelled 60 Russian diplomats over the double-agent Skripal’s poisoning in the UK. The move was coordinated with several European countries, which also expelled a number of Russian diplomats.

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